I bought my 2005 GLS TDI new after test driving a base gas model. At the time, the gas and diesel models were the same price, the diesel mileage was far superior, and the cost of diesel was quite a bit less than gasoline so this was a no-brainer. Now, diesel is often more expensive than gasoline, and sometimes even 15-20% more, so the diesel advantage is not what it once was. Still, I like being able to go almost 600 miles on a fillup, and I love the power, reliability and longevity of this engine. I have 175,000 miles on my Passat and have not had a single repair bill outside of scheduled maintenance. The most expensive maintenance is the timing belt replacement every 80-100K miles. The car has excellent pickup, not as peppy as the gasoline Passat, but much better than most cars that I've driven, including V8s. The 10,000 mile interval for the synthetic oil change offsets the higher costs associated with changing the oil. This service, like most, is best performed by the owner, the dealer, or a shop specializing in German autos. Maintenance costs are slightly more expensive and servicing establishments more limited than Japanese, American, Korean or other cars, but the Passat spends very little time in the shop. I think that this has been an extremely economical car, but it drives as well or better than cars costing quite a bit more to purchase or maintain.
Up to 2009 car was great. Volkswagon decided to recall att TDI models for a R8 recall for the glow plugs. Being on top of recalls brought car in for recall and had it done in the spring time period. Well summer went by and winter was setting in (getting colder) my wife started complaining that the car was hard to start sometimes. I of course egnored it till I drove it. Well the problems with the dealership and Volkswagon began. Called Volkswagon direct and knotified them of a possible problem with thier recall. Brought it in and more than 6 months later. I got my car back with original plugs and waiting for volkswagon to find a glow plug that will replace problem plugs. Good luck to tdi owne
Purchased this car in 2010 with 67,000KM from VW as a pre-owned certified vehicle with a 40,000KM or 2 year bumper to bumper warranty. It has been exceptional for me during this time. I am now at 200,000KM and have serviced it regularly as required. I still enjoy the drive as I commute up to 2-3 hours daily doing sales.
However, just had a major recent issue. My transmission quit completely out of nowhere. It is a self sealed unit and very difficult to service, nor does it say it requires any routine maintenance. This is a $4500 issue to get a factory repaired/replaced transmission from VW. Luckily I had a friend who rebuilt and swapped it for considerably less.
I love this car except for an experience last winter. I live in a cold enviroment. I was told the car would always start before I bought it. At minus 10, sitting outside, the car would not start. I had to have it towed to the nearest dealership. Once it warmed up it started without a problem. Everything checked out to be working correctly. I would not take the car back without an external heating device installed. The dealer put on a oil pan heater. VW Corp was contacted and asked to cover the installation. They declined to do so! I was told they would rather pay for a tow each time. What an inconvience for me. I was displeased with the customer service deptartment.